Dr. Pascoal Carvalho, a member of Pontifical Academy of Life, presented his research paper on ‘ Ethical concerns at the end of life’ under the session ‘End of Life Issues’, at the major event organized by the Eparchy of Kalyan , “EVA- Global Symposium on Life”, conveyed that death is a reality that none of us can escape. He explained about various ‘End of Life’ dilemmas which includes therapeutic obstinacy, coma and highlighted the Catholic meaning of suffering and death.
Dr. Pascoal Carvalho remarked that “Society has moved from protecting life- to allowing the vulnerable to seek the easy and painless way out- to active measures to end the lives of such human beings deemed to be a burden. The notion of disability indicates neither the illness nor the person, rather the relationship between the state of health of an individual and the environment in which he or she lives and this disability reveals the historical and social condition of human existence challenged by illness and impairment.” Further, he added, “Death is a reality that none of us can escape and as death approaches, we suddenly begin to ponder on the meaning of life, of suffering and of what is to come next. A terminal Illness gives us time for introspection and reflection and brings to the forefront questions regarding our faith that we did not dare address before. Suffering finds true meaning in Jesus Christ and it is now no longer an experience of uselessness and burden to others and is a process of purification.”
Dr. Carvalho concluded his presentation by reminding that the position of the Catholic Church is not to keep the person alive at all costs, neither is it to terminate life just because there is pain and suffering rather it is the acceptance of the reality of pain and suffering. It is doing all in our power to heal the person suffering. He asked the people to say yes to ‘proportional treatment and yes to palliative care’ and no to aggressive treatment.